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This paper explores how second-generation Ugandan descendents negotiate ‘return’ to their parental ‘homeland’. In this British-based community of citizens, refugees, asylum-seekers and the undocumented, questions of return intertwine with issues of sanctuary, solidarity, identity and documentation. Institutional categories vie with emotional subjectivities across generations. Many in the first generation maintain a transnational optic as they nest their return orientations to ‘home’ within aspirations for their children; whilst for the second generation questions of ‘return’ reveal multiple identity positions to ‘home’ as country-of-birth Britain and ancestral ‘homeland’ Uganda. Temporal considerations loom large and age, life course and generation act as key variables within these debates, with ‘return’ the contested site for negotiating ‘belonging’. What emerges is a differentiated picture as second-generation descendants enact a range of return mobilities and relational engagements to Uganda as ancestral ‘homeland’.

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Journal article



Publication Date



6 (4)


519 - 534


Ugandan refugees, return mobilities, second generation, ancestral homeland, belonging